Saturday, October 31, 2009

My kids came to visit me on my planet


Since I moved to New England I have felt like I am an alien living on another planet. I feel like I am not one of "them". So imagine my relief when my girl child came to visit me. She brought another being from our planet, my son in law.

So was I going to spoil the crap out of them? Yes, I was. Started off with fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast.


Did I do this when she lived at home? Heh....ask her. This recipe was from Alton Browns Overnight Cinnamon Rolls Ok, but not incredible.


It was also requested that I make Shrimp and Crab Cannelloni. I did. I started the day before so that it was not so much work when the kids were here. It was good that I did that because we spent most the day wandering around and at Sleepy Hollow looking at the graves of famous authors such as Emerson. Good thing to do the day before Halloween.


My handy blender (my favorite kitchen tool) made short work out of the tomatoes that I had peeled for the sauce.


And once again bad blogger that I am all was eaten before I could really take a picture of this amazing dinner. You have to make this one!


Really looks ugly but I have to tell you that I have had people ask me to marry them over this dish.

Shrimp and Crab Cannelloni
Bon Appétit | September 1996
by Kevin Graham
Graham's; New Orleans, LA

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups chopped onions
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 28-ounces can Italian-style tomatoes
1/3 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

16 lasagna noodles (preferably 3 to 4 inches wide)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
12 ounces uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, chopped
5 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated provolone cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces fresh crabmeat
1 egg, beaten to blend


For sauce:
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes with their juices, basil, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and crushed red pepper and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is reduced to scant 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Working in batches, puree sauce in blender; return to same pot. Add cream and vinegar and simmer 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.

For Cannelloni:
Cook noodles in pot of boiling salted water until almost tender. Drain. Cool in bowl of cold water.

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Add shrimp; sauté just until opaque, about 3 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano and crushed red pepper. Cool.

Mix ricotta, provolone, Parmesan, crabmeat and shrimp mixture in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.

Butter 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Spread generous 1 cup tomato cream sauce in bottom of dish. Drain lasagna noodles; trim to 8-inch lengths. Spread scant 1/3 cup shrimp filling over each noodle, leaving 1/2-inch border on all sides. Staring at 1 short end, roll up each noodle jelly roll style. Place in prepared pan, seam side down. Pour remaining sauce over cannelloni. Cover with foil. (Can be made 1 day ahead; refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake foil-covered cannelloni until heated through, about 45 minutes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A couple of my favorite October recipes


I love October. Well, I used to love October until it meant raking leaves and impending snow and gloom. I used to love October in California where you can be lazy all year long. Cold meant that maybe you would shut all your windows. So being the cheery sort that I am (heh heh) I decided to carry on the October tradition in a new place that really lends itself to Pumpkins and soups and fall like things. You can actually wear hand knit sweaters here folks! So here it goes.


Favorite recipe here is from Epicurious and is the best pumpkin soup that I have had to date. I have made it for the last 3 years and it never fails to make me happy. It starts off with toasting the shells of the shrimp that you are later going to cook and pour the soup over.


I used fresh pumpkin for this dish so that I could have the seeds. That brings me to my second favorite October food. I love pumpkin seeds. I can't get enough of them. I love experimenting with them and different flavors.


This year I took a Siracha butter that I had made before for something else and added Worcester sauce. I then sprinkled with garlic salt and put in the oven. YUMMM! I also have a version with just plain butter, Worcester and garlic salt (I love this one too). Last but not least I tried one that had some curry powder and sugar and butter in it. Bleckkkk! I didn't like it. I had found the recipe somewhere and I don't remember where. So 2 out of 3 wasn't bad.


Shrimp and Pumpkin Bisque

1 pound large shrimp (16 to 20)

Shrimp Stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken stock
Pinch saffron threads (about 24)
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion (about 8 ounces), coarsely chopped
4 fresh bay laurel leaves, torn, or 2 dried
3 3-inch springs fresh sage

2 cups pumpkin purée, fresh (see Note) or canned
1/2 cup heavy cream
About 3/4 teaspoon salt, less if using canned stock
Scant 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
print a shopping list for this recipe


1. Shrimp stock: Peel and devein shrimp, reserving the shells. Cover the shrimp and refrigerate. Heat the olive oil in a medium (3-quart) heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the shrimp shells to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until they turn deep orange and are just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. This step—pan roasting the shells—gives the stock much of its flavor, so take the time to do it carefully. The roasted shells should release a concentrated, toasty, shrimp aroma that will fill your kitchen. Add the wine to the pan, first turning off gas flames to prevent the alcohol from igniting, then boil it over medium heat until all the liquid is evaporated. Add the chicken stock, saffron, celery, onion, bay leaves, and sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Partially cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, pushing down on the solids with the back of a spoon to extract all the liquid. Rinse out the saucepan and pour the stock back into it.

2. Soup: Whisk the pumpkin, cream, salt (omit if using canned stock), and cayenne into the shrimp stock. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cook very gently uncovered over low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, taste, and season with black pepper and more salt if needed. (The soup can be made up to this point up to 1 day ahead store covered in the refrigerator. Keep the peeled shrimp in a resealable bag buried in a bowl of ice in the refrigerator.)

3. Finishing the soup: Pour the olive oil into a large sauté pan placed over medium heat. When hot, add the reserved shrimp and sage and cook, tossing often, until the shrimp is just cooked through, pink, and no longer translucent, but not curled into a circle, 2 to 3 minutes. They should still have a tender snap when you bite into them. Arrange the shrimp in warmed serving bowls or a tureen. Bring the soup back to a simmer and then ladle it over the shrimp. Serve right away.

Substitute winter squash purée, such as butternut or acorn, for the pumpkin.

To make fresh pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds. Place it cut side down in a baking dish and pour in about 1/4 inch of hot water. Bake it in a 400°F oven until the flesh is tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Turn the pumpkin halves cut side up to cool. Scoop the pumpkin flesh from the skin and purée it in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the purée to a large sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth and let it drain for 2-3 hours until it is firm enough to hold its shape on a spoon.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I love my FoodBuzz friends but

I think I may be going a little OCDish. Every time I see someone that has a recipe I want to try I run to the kitchen. So what happens?


I end up making Cajun Chef Ryans Monkey bread even though I don't know who is going to eat it and then I haven't even cleaned up from this


and I decide that I must make the neighbors Foododelmundo's "Mr Davis' Toffee Squares


Mine don't have a pretty ribbon around em but


Monday, October 26, 2009

Amazing dinner...I love you Paula Wolfert!


Once again the morning started with "What do we need to do today?" As usual the list was recited and the conversation turned to "what should we make for dinner?" Lamb of course! We have enough lamb in the freezer to hold us for a year (maybe). At the speed we are going it will be gone way before spring. So, I pulled out a Paula Wolfert cookbook that is one of my favorites. It is "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen". We decided on Lamb Tagine Smothered in Onions. Although there are lots of steps there is lots of time in between to be able to clean the basement (treadmill being delivered Wen. Too much cooking).


The house smelled incredible and it made it easy to stick around and do stuff that needed to get done rather than jumping in the car and leaving our responsibilities behind while we discovered new places.


We only had half the lamb shanks the recipe called for and it was just the 2 of us so we cut the recipe in half. It was amazing. Once again another fantastic dish out of Paula's book.

Lamb Tagine Smothered In Onions
Adapted from "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen," by Paula Wolfert
Yield: 6 servings.

5 pounds lamb shanks, trimmed of excess fat
3 teaspoons salt, divided
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger, divided
About 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, divided
1 medium onion, coarsely grated ( 1/2 cup), plus 4 pounds large
onions, quartered lengthwise and thickly sliced crosswise
3 whole canned Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and crushed
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

Early in the day, or up to 2 days in advance, place the lamb in a
large, heavy casserole or tagine pot. Toss with 2 teaspoons salt, 1
teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon ginger, 2 pinches saffron, grated onion,
tomatoes, cinnamon stick and olive oil. Stir over low heat until the
aroma of the spices is released, about 5 minutes. Do not brown the
meat. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and
simmer over very low heat for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. (At the end of this
time, the meat should be almost but not quite thoroughly cooked - not
yet to the point where it's falling off the bone. You can also do
this in a 250-degree oven or in a slow cooker set on high.) Remove
from heat; let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole,
combine sliced onions with 1/4 cup water, 1 pinch saffron, ground
cinnamon, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the remaining 1 teaspoon
pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon ginger, 2 tablespoons butter and 2
tablespoons sugar. Cover; cook over medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the cover; cook until the liquid evaporates, about 25 minutes.
Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, stirring often, until the
onions are golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a large
plate to cool.

When the lamb shanks are cool enough to handle, pull the meat off the
bones and trim off any fat or gristle. Cut the meat into 1-inch
chunks; transfer to a bowl. Discard the cinnamon stick. (The recipe
can be prepared to this point up to 2 days in advance. Let cool, then
refrigerate the meat, onions and lamb juices in separate containers.)

About 1 hour before serving, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Discard
all the fat from the lamb juices; boil the liquid down to 1 cup.
Arrange the lamb in a single layer in a shallow, ovenproof serving
dish. Pour the reduced lamb juices over the meat. Spread the golden
onion mixture on top. Spoon any remaining onion cooking liquid over
all. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar on top; dot with the
remaining 2 teaspoons butter. Bake for 45 minutes or until the
topping is caramelized and bubbling.


Next we had to decide what to make to go with it. I took one look at the picture in the same cookbook and I was done. This was it! Hey VEGETARIAN friends (sorry vegans) this one is for YOU!

Panade of Leeks and Mixed Greens with Cantal Cheese
by Paula Wolfert
from The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

Serves 8

3 large leeks (white and light green parts only), chopped
1 red onion, chopped
5 green garlic shoots or 8 to 10 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
One 1-pound loaf stale chewy bread with crust
1 1/2 pounds (about 10 cups) mixed leafy greens (sorrel, chard, parsley leaves, arugula, spinach, and watercress), deribbed and shredded
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Grated nutmeg
3 cups whole milk, heated to simmering
1/2 pound Cantal or Gruyère cheese

1. Measure the leeks, onion, and garlic to be sure you have about 1 quart.


2. In a 7- or 8- quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Slowly stew the leeks, onion, and garlic for 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).


3. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes (bread matters here). Find a chewy bread with a good crust. You should have about 2 quarts. Spread the cubes in one layer on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until just golden. Let cool and store until ready to use.


4. Add the greens to the pot, cover, and cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Uncover and boil away excess liquid. Allow to cool. Add the lemon juice, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Correct the salt. (Up to this point the recipe can be prepared 1 day in advance. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)


5. About 2 1/2 hours before serving, oil a deep 3-quart casserole, preferably earthenware. Place one-third of the bread cubes in the dish, top with half the greens, and repeat, ending with the bread cubes and patting lightly to make an even topping. Gradually pour the hot milk down the insides and over the top of the panade so everything is moist. If necessary, add 1/2 cup water. Cover with the grated cheese and a sheet of foil.


6. Bake in a preheated 250°F (120°C) oven for 1 3/4 hours. Raise the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C), uncover, and bake 20 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to relax for about 10 minutes before serving.


I have to tell you that this is my new favorite food in the whole world. I love the lamb, but this dish with the greens and the bread was the best thing I have eaten in a long time (and that is saying a ton considering the cooking that goes on around here). I think I could be a vegetarian again if I could eat this every night and not end up weighing 10000lbs.

I love you Paula Wolfet...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Just felt like it


I just felt like I had to have a chicken tortilla thingy last night. I had spent hours pouring over cookbooks and trying to decide what to make when I realized I just wanted this casserole. It is simple and good.

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Tex Mex Lasagna
1 1/4 lbs ground beef
Olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 14-oz can pinto beans, rinsed in cold water and drained (or you can cook your own pinto beans from scratch)
2 teaspoons bacon fat (can substitute olive oil)
1/2 cup water
2 medium onions
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen "Fire Roasted"
1 7-oz can diced green Anaheim chiles
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
12 corn tortillas
2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 8 oz)
2 cups coarsely grated mild cheddar cheese (about 8 oz)

Sour cream
Iceberg lettuce

1 Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large cast iron frying pan on medium high heat. Add the ground meat, breaking it up as you add it. Sprinkle with salt. Sprinkle on the chile powder, cayenne, cumin, and coriander. Increase the heat to high. Add another 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Do not stir the meat unnecessarily. Allow it to brown on one side, and then stir it so the other side can be browned. As soon as the meat is browned, remove the pan from the burner. The meat will continue to cook in the heat of the cast iron pan. Once you are sure that the meat is cooked through, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan to a bowl. Set aside.

2. While the meat is cooking, heat bacon fat in another frying pan on medium high. Add the rinsed, drained cooked pinto beans to the pan. Mash gently with a potato masher (careful if you are using a stick-free pan not to scratch the surface of the pan). Stir in enough water so that the beans are easily thinly spreadable, about a half a cup. Salt to taste. Remove from heat and set aside. Note you could skip this step by using canned refried beans than have been thinned with water. We have found that the canned refried beans do not taste as good as rinsed canned whole beans that have been refried on the stovetop. Best is to make the beans from scratch but not everyone has time for that.

3. Once the meat is done cooking, and has been removed from the pan in step 1, add another Tbsp of olive oil to the pan and heat to medium. Add the onions and chopped bell peppers, cook until onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, green chilies and oregano. Bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the tortillas.

4. In a 9-inch skillet, heat 1/2 cup olive oil on medium high heat until it is sizzling hot, but not smoking. Cook the tortillas one at a time, for 5 seconds on each side, so that they soften, but don't get crisp. Remove with tongs and place on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.

5. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a 13x9x3-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.

6. In baking dish arrange 4 tortillas in one layer, overlapping slightly (tortillas will not cover bottom completely). Spread half of bean mixture evenly over tortillas in dish and top with half of meat mixture. Sprinkle one third cheese over the meat and spread half of the sauce over the cheese.

Repeat layering of tortillas, beans, meat, cheese, and sauce and top with remaining 4 tortillas. Sprinkle remaining cheese over tortillas. Bake casserole on the middle rack in the oven for 35 minutes, until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is completely melted and bubbling. Let the casserole stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Serves 8. Serve with sour cream, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, and thinly sliced iceberg lettuce on which has been sprinkled vinegar and salt.

Last minute the neighbors came to dinner and it was the perfect thing. I would definately make this again.

Because I really am stupid I forgot to take a picture of the finished goods. Once again you get leftovers


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Aw shucks!


Kathy Gori at The Colors of Indian Cooking awarded me with my first award. Thanks so much Kathy. Coming from you this award means a lot to me.

I am suppose to tell 7 things about myself and I find this tough. Nothing much to really tell that anyone would care about but here it goes.

1. I hate chocolate
2. My favorite drink is a Manhattan
3. I love artichokes and could eat one every day
4. I am terrified of clowns and dolls
5. Music is one of the most important things to me in life
6. I am short
7. I love cooking more than I like eating

Pfft. Ok, now that is over it is time for me to nominate 7 blogs for this Kreativ Bloggers Award

Short and Bald
Guilty Kitchen
Are You Hungry?
Citron & Vanille
Keep Learning Keep Smiling
Chickenless Chick

You must thank the person who has given you the award.
* Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
* Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
* Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
* Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
* Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
* Leave a comment in the nominated blogs to let them know they have been nominated

Ok, onto the food. My neighbor pal Denis lost his mother this week. I wanted to do something to make the family feel better and the only thing I know of in this instance is to cook. I made Pot Roast Pasta out of the "New Basics Cookbook" by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins

First I chopped the vegetables


Browned the meat


Then did what I spend most of my time doing

Vegetables are ready


and because I was cooking and consoling my neighbor Kim with a little wine, I might have forgotten to take a picture of the finished dish until it was too late. So here is a picture of what it looked like after we ate and it was time to stow the leftovers


*I* got the Kreativ Blogger award so I can't be ALL bad. I do have to say that the Kreativ spelling makes me a little bit sick to my stomach since I did work for years in the publications department at RAND

Ok so here is the recipe. It is fantastic and you should make it when you are in the mood for something hearty and warm to eat.

Pot Roast Pasta

3 Tbl olive oil
2lbs beef bottom round roast
1 1/2 C chopped onions
1 C chopped carrots
1 C chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, slivered plus 1 tsp minced garlic
1 C beef stock
1 can (28 oz) plum tomatoes, drained
3 Tbl tomato paste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dred thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 C dry red wine
1/4 C chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
1 lb penne or pappardelle

1. Heat the oil in a dtuch oven over medium-low heat Add the pot roast and brown on all sides. Reove the meat from the pan, and set aside.

2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and slivered garlic and saute until soft, 10 minutes. Remove the vegetables and set aside.

3. Set a rack in the bottom of the pot and place the roast on top. Pour the stock into the pot. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 350

5. Remove the roast and the rack from the dutch oven, and cut the meat into 1/4" thick slices (they will be quite rare). Return the slices to the pot, layering them evenly.

6. Crush the plum tomatoes slightly, and add them to the pot along with the tomato paste, the 1 tsp minced garlic, pepper, salt, thyme, bay leaf, red wine, and reserved vegetables. Bring to a boil, transfer to the oven, and bake, covered, until the meat falls apart, 1 1/2 hours.

7. Remove the meat and bay leaf from the pot, and allow to cool slightly. Discard the bay leaf. Shred the meat and return it to the pot. Add the parsley, and heat through.

8. Bring a large pot of water to a boil Add the pasta, and cook at a rolling boil until just tender. Drain and serve sauce over pasta.

So there ya have it. Thanks Kathy for the Kreativ award.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Indian food for friends

We had our friend visiting from California. We also had another mutual friend coming to dinner so that we could all be together. One friend Vegan other friend not vegan. What do I do? Ah, Indian food to the rescue.

I made quite a few things. Unfortunately it was being devoured when I remembered that I hadn't taken any pictures. So, the pictures that you are getting won't win any "buzz" or prizes, or maybe they will make you sick to look at, but the food was fantastic.

First off we had Vij's Family Curry Chicken from the "Vij" cookbook. Our vegan friend didn't have this one. It was for the meat people.


Next off we had my new favorite. It is also from the Vij cookbook and it is called "Semolina Noodles with Vegetables and Lentils"


1/2 C canola oil
1/2 Tbsp black mustard seeds
2 1/2 C finely chopped onion
1/3 C chopped tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp chopped jalapeno pepper
12 oz green beans, strings removed and chopped

Heat oil in medium frying pan on high heat for 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, reduce the heat tyo medium, stir once and wait until you hear the fist popping sound. Immediately add onions and stir well to make sure the seeds don't stick ad burn at the bottom of the pan. When onions are golden, add tomatoes, salt , turmeric, coriander and jalapeno peppers.Cook masala for 2 to 3 minutes. Add green beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Turn off heat.

3/4 C split moong dal
2 C water
1 tsp salt

Wash and sort lentils. Place lentils water and salt in a pot and bring to a boil on medium heat. Boil gentl for about 10 minutes, or until lentils are tender but not mushy.
Immediately drain lentils in a large colander to prevent them from cooking any further. Run cold water over lentils for k30 seconds, then drain for 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Rinse out the colander.

2 Tbsp canola oil
5 oz semolina (vermicelli) noodles, 2" long
5 C water
1 tsp salt

Heat oil in a medium pot on medium heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add noodles and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. When the edges of the noodles are browning and the noodles look darker overall, add water and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes, or until much of the water has evaporated and the noodles are soft. Drain noodles over a large colander and run cold water over them for 30 seconds. Gently separate the noodles with a fork, then drain completely for another 5 minutes.

To finish curry:
Add lentils and noodles to green beans and masala Stir gently with a fork to ensure that everything is well mixed. Just before serving, heat on low, stirring gently but regularly for 5 minutes. If the noodles start to stick to the pot, sprinkle 2 Tbsp of water into the pan.


Next off was Canned chickpeas with garlic and ginger. This was from Madhuyr Jaffrey's "An Invitation to Indian Cooking". I liked this dish too and so did our Vegan.

We also of course had rice and naan and maybe another dish that I think I forgot what it was because we also had a lot of good wine.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lamb, Lobster and a whole lot of fun


My brother and sister-in-law came into town and boy did we have fun. My brother was really the first person in my life that I thought was a "chef". Ok, I was 8 years younger than him and I looked up to him, but really he introduced me to my first "out of the norm" food. So when I knew he was going to visit I realized that we had to eat well. Uh, like I don't usually have that expectation. So first night that we cooked was a paella (which I have already posted).

The second night was lobster. We bought them steamed and we also bought some steamers and had those too.



Next night was a rack of lamb. It wasn't frenched or a crown. It came straight off a farm and I had asked for the rack rack rather than chops. This is part of the lamb that lives in my freezer. We simply roasted it with garlic, salt and pepper.

Meantime, I made a potato dish out of the Gourmet magazine (retrospective issue) that I always talk about. This recipe was from the 50's and we were dubious, but it turned out well and tasted great.


Earlier in the day we had visited Wilson Farms and tasted a butternut squash dish that they were giving samples of. We got a copy of the recipe and we made it for dinner. This dish was unbelievable and you really have to give it a try.


Baked Butternut Squash
with Breadcrumbs and Chestnuts

2 lbs. Butternut squash, peeled
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 ½ cups plain breadcrumbs
½ cup chestnuts, chopped (I used walnuts)
1 Tbs. sage, chopped
1 ½ sticks butter (½ stick melted)
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
salt & pepper

Steam, boil or roast squash until tender. Mash with sugar, cinnamon, ½ stick butter and salt & pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt ½ stick of butter at medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add onions and cook until golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Mix onions with squash . In another bowl, mix breadcrumbs, chestnuts, sage, melted butter, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Put squash mixture in baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top. Bake until hot and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

All the while I was drinking my beloved California "Eric Ross" wine. My sister-in-law is the one that thought clearly enough to take all these pictures. I may have drank a bit of glog as well.


Ok, so it is NOT Xmas, but it is SNOWING here. I swear.

And although it looks like a meal the Flintstones would eat it was great. Best lamb I have ever have had. Did I mention that it is Leyden Glen lamb? THE best!!!! (thanks Kristen!)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Turkey Soup! I love this recipe


A friend from long ago gave this recipe to me. She was one of the best cooks I ever knew and she gave me lots of my favorite recipes that she found from all over the place.

I swear you will like it!

L.A. Times
November 25, 1994
issue in an article by Abby Mandel.

Turkey Vegetable Soup With Orzo

1 quart Turkey Stock
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
2 ribs celery, diced
2 small carrots, peeled, diced
2 small parsnips, peeled, diced
2 small onions, diced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey
1/2 cup orzo
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Put Turkey Stock, 2 cups chicken stock, celery, carrots, parsnips,
onions and thyme in 3-quart pot. Bring to boil. Simmer, covered, 20
minutes. Add turkey and orzo. Mix well.

Simmer, covered, until orzo is tender, about 12 more minutes. Add
additional broth to adjust consistency. Season to taste with salt
and pepper. Stir in parsley. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Each serving contains about:
112 calories; 604 mg sodium; 19 mg cholesterol; 2 grams fat; 11 grams
carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 0.67 gram fiber.

Turkey Stock

Turkey carcass, broken up
1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
1 large onion, cut into chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into chunks
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 quart water
Leftover skimmed pan juices from turkey [Right. Like these didn't
already go into the gravy.]
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
3 peppercorns

Put carcass, carrot, onion, celery, chicken broth, water, pan juices,
thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns in 4-quart stockpot. Bring to
boil. Simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours. Strain solids from broth and
discard solids.

Cool. Refrigerate stock until fat solidifies, then remove and
discard fat. Pour stock into conveniently sized containers.
Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 monts. Makes 2 quarts

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Korean food for a friend


Dr Food invited his friend over for dinner. Dr Food's friend is Korean. We decided to cook Korean food and see if it tasted authentic.

First off I made sesame leaves. They are beautiful and easy to make. Turns out that this is Dr Food's friends favorite. It is something that his mother makes. Mine were stuffed with a little meat but you can just dredge sesame leaves in flour and dip in egg wash and fry. They are wonderful.



Next off I made Korean radish kimchi and bean sprout salad. Friend brought sashimi.


He bought it at the new Korean market that Dr Food and I had just discovered. It was amazing. It was a grand opening this last weekend and we got to sample lots of stuff. The fish department was fantastic


The selection made me happy



They even had a clown out front. Clowns scare me and this one looked a little like someone they picked up on the freeway offramp and offered a few bucks.


Back to the Korean dinner... No wonder I am not a "famous" blogger, I digress very easily.


Then there was the seafood pancake. Ew. It was awful. The other reason I am not a "famous" blogger is because I admit when what I cooked was crap. This was disgusting and I swear I followed the recipe (which I won't give you because it is bad)


Last but not least there was Kalbi or Galbi. Picture isn't very good but it tasted great. Next time I would make bulgogi because it is easier to eat.


Saw this recipe on a cooking show where mom teaches daughter how to cook. It was called "Mom's Cooking". I am not sure if it is still on.

Lettuce-Wrapped Ginger Pork (Dae-Gee Bul-go-kee)
Serves 6
2 & 1/2 tablespoons, prepared chili paste (koh-chu-chang)
2 teaspoons, spicy red pepper flakes
1/3 cup, soy sauce
2 tablespoons, sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons, honey
3/4 cup, brown sugar
salt and pepper
5 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 knobs (thumb-size) of ginger root, grated/ground
1 kiwi, pureed
1/4 pealed Asian pear, pureed
sliced fresh ginger (10-12 pieces)
For marinade:
Peel and chop Asian pear and kiwi. Add soy sauce and place in food processor. Blend until smooth.
Grind garlic and ginger.
In a mixing bowl, add chili paste and fruit mixture and ground garlic and ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, brown sugar, honey and mix.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
3 lbs. thinly-sliced, bite-sized pork, (1/2 lb of meat per person)
10 thin slices of fresh ginger

For pork:
Massage marinade into the meat by hand. Add slices of fresh ginger.
Marinade for a minimum of 30 – 60 minutes. Cover grill with aluminum foil.
Place meat flat on the grill- make sure not to layer meat. Cover and grill on high for 10 minutes. Turn meat over, and cook for 5 more minutes until brown.

Serve with brown rice and lettuce wrap with koh-chu-chang dip.